Quiz One

Quiz 1 must occur between October 1 and November 1. Because this is not a lecture class, most of this information will not be provided in lecture format. You will find info either in homework links, from group notes compiled by research groups, from the internet, and/or from stopping by office hours to discuss topics. The list below is not intended to be an exhaustive list of topics, but rather a representative list. We will discuss your quiz content individually during our preparatory meeting.

Quiz rubric is here:

Be able to describe:

  • Who they are (major contributions to art/music/sound art, nationality, approximately when they lived)
  • Community (related movements/artists/ongoing artistic discussions, significance of their work)
  • A piece or two of theirs that you either loved or hated, and what you loved/hated about it.

I will be adding to the list below, so keep checking back:
John Cage
Maryanne Amacher
Alvin Lucier
Peter Ablinger
Christina Kubisch
Luigi Russolo
Max Neuhaus
Pierre Schaeffer
Karlheinz Stockhausen

Sample Questions:

Conceptual/theoretical questions. These questions do not have a single ‘correct answer’. To receive credit, therefore, it is important to demonstrate that you have spent some time considering how some of the most important scholars in these fields have addressed these issues, and that you have considered their ideas in forming your own opinions on the topic. Below each topic are the names of some of the scholars whose work you might research in preparing your answers. Some of these names will overlap with readings assigned to various research groups. To study for the quiz, review the readings/links you’ve looked at with your research groups, as well as the research group overviews provided by your fellow classmates.

What is noise?
-Murray Schafer, Andra McCartney, Luigi Russolo, Merszbow, John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer

What is silence?
-John Cage, Gordon Hempton, Don Ihde, George Prochnik, Murray Schafer,

What is sound art?
-Max Neuhaus
-Folks from this reading list: http://wiki.dxarts.washington.edu/groups/soundart/wiki/de44f/Reading_List.html
-Also these folks: http://earroom.wordpress.com/sound-art/

What is a soundscape? Describe/categorize the different sounds present in an environment.
-Murray Schafer, Barry Truax, Emily Thompson

Describe the different ways we listen and/or interpret sound.
Michael Chion, Kate Crawford, Pierre Schaeffer, William Gaver, Pauline Oliveros

What content (artists or pieces) that you have come across during this class have you loved? Why? What have you hated? Why?
(Review materials from website, projects, notes.)

Be able to describe your projects as they relate to the course content, and course prompts. How are they similar to other projects you’ve come across? How are they different? Why are they interesting??*

*Note: Most people begin with why their project interests them. That’s fine, but DO NOT STOP THERE. Why is it interesting *in general*. Why would it be interesting to someone else??

Be able to describe the difference between psychoacoustics and acoustics.
-For example: the difference between amplitude and loudness, frequency, and pitch.
What is a binaural microphone and how does it work?
Describe the process of auditory transduction.

Expect questions relating to the following terminology***:
-sound wave
-sample rate
-bit depth
-Digital vs. analog

Be prepared to show basic usage in Spear, Reaper and Audacity. Know how to import and render sound files, as well as applying basic manipulations. In Reaper this includes but is not limited to adding plug-ins to a track to explore different effects. In Spear this includes analysis and manipulation of a pre-recorded audio file.

***Technically, this is really the bare minimum, and is what I will expect from you if you’ve come to this class with no background in audio at all. If you can explain everything on this list without studying at all, then you will need to come prepared to discuss something that challenges you. This will vary by person and interest…for example (this list is by no means all-inclusive):

-More on field recording equipment, especially mic types and patterns
-Spectral analysis, FFT
-More depth with binaural stuff, including HRTF, ITD, ILD
-Ambisonics, soundfield microphone
-Ultra/infrasonic recording
-Convolution, impulse response
-Using Max/MSP, SuperCollider, OpenFrameworks etc.



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